ice cold

 I read this in someone else's blog post recently:

"the universe has a funny way of helping us release our pain: it gives us more pain.
it presents us with an opportunity to get our hopes up, believe magic will come, and then it all comes crashing down. with that, the thin dam that was holding back the residual pain bursts, and all we can do is cry.

here's what I've learned:
the more we try to ignore, hide, 'stuff', and minimize the emotions we experience when pain comes to call, the longer it will take us to heal. 

for six long months after the day my eyes were opened wide, 
I closed off every feeling and emotion I had.
I became the ice queen: no tears. no anger. no smiles. no laughter. 

no love. no ANYTHING.
all anyone saw in me were ice-cold emotions 
that kept my battered, damaged, destroyed soul and heart 
in the deep freeze
while I took care of my responsibilities in life and business.

I wasn't strong enough to deal with my own emotions and thoughts, 
and I wasn't going to open a door to let the people who had hurt me so thoroughly 
do it again. 
so I locked the emotions down and put them on ice. 
I was 'protecting myself'. 
for six months, I did all I could to take care of my responsibilities in life and business, 
and then found that I needed to take care of ME instead. 

of course, the day (rainy night) came when 
"that thin dam that was holding back the residual pain burst."
and I cried. 
actually, and unashamedly, I fell apart. 
I let myself do that because I knew that finally
I was in a place where it was SAFE for me to be true true to what I was really feeling. 
my healing began that night.

and it ain't over yet. 
I've had several recurrences of this, the most recent being Saturday...

my parents own a vacation home up in the mountains.
I used to LIVE up in those mountains with my estranged husband when our four kids were young. 

there are some good memories up there for me, but honestly, there are many more bad memories.

like the fact that even though I lived an hour from my mom, I didn't speak to her for years.
huge family rift between me, my mom, my sister, and my grandma. 
Oh yes, and my husband. 
I lost FIVE YEARS with my mom. I missed my sisters wedding. 
And it all started up on that mountain, 
because I believed what someone told me, and stood by him and defended him
even though it meant 
I turned my back on my mom and sister. FOR FIVE YEARS.
and now I know that it was all a lie. I was duped. And oh, how I fell for it.
I was cheated out of YEARS with my family that cannot be replaced.

as so often happens in life, patterns repeat themselves. 

[back to the present]

so on Saturday, I went with my parents up to their mountain cabin.
I hate that drive.
I hate seeing places we went when we lived there. I hate remembering the bad stuff.

worse yet, I hate that as my dad and I were boxing up some things to bring them down the mountain,
I saw and picked up and held something in my hand that immediately reduced me to tears.
memories flashed, my eyes welled up, and my breath caught in my throat.
I excused myself and walked outside.
40 degrees, clear and sunny, a half inch of snow on the ground, 
and the smell of woodsmoke in the air...which only added to my flashback.

memories of time spent on that mountain,
of my family, of the life I had there - good AND bad - rushed in like a flood.
the ice queen part of me melted again.

I cried. And I prayed.
I asked God "WHEN is it NOT going to hurt SO BAD?"
"WHEN is every thing I see and every place I go NOT going to bring up a memory of the PAST?"
because right now, that is the hardest obstacle.
my past is EVERYWHERE around me here in Southern California.

there are some days when I just want to kick into ice queen mode again -
to lock my emotions down and not let anyone see them.
to focus on business (mine or my parents') and work
and let the healing and feeling just stay in the deep freeze for awhile.

I know that's not healthy, and besides, it's pretty hard to do that when

I wake up every morning and walk down the stairs and into 
I carry my coffee cup out the back door and sit on the patio 
my children and I lived in this house twice, 
and I sleep in the bed that I shared with my EX here.
the home that I lived in when my first daughter was a toddler 
is just around the corner.

Sometimes it makes me shake my head to hear how I am being accused 
of just 'pretending that the past 32 years didn't exist at all'...

no, quite the contrary.
I have to face the pain of remembering my past every.single.day.

and be brave enough to FEEL the pain
let the ice melt
and the tears flow
and the heart heal 

and accept the 'opportunity to get my hopes up, and to believe magic will come'
one day. one day, that moment of grace will come.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Pain brings healing. I applaud you for meeting it head on with all that entails. Love you friend and sending you a HUGE hug from afar.

God has a PLAN of that I am sure.